On Friday February 19th, a gloomy and rainy morning, herds of people packed into the Golden Valley Country Club to participate in the first the Good LeaderShip Breakfast in the 2016 series. The Good Leadership Breakfast Series are an opportunity to soak in inspirational stories, eat delicious breakfast food and leave the event wanting to spread goodness to everyone you bump into. To start the event off with a bang, television network powerhouse Colleen Needles Steward was the featured speaker.
As live jazz filled the room, people chatted amongst themselves, waited in line for the impressive buffet of breakfast items and scanned the ballroom for a seat before the event started. Paul Batz, founder of Good Leadership Enterprises, author and motivational speaker waltzed on stage sporting his signature royal purple blazer (similar to one wore by M. Gustave in Grand Budapest Hotel). He opened the event thanking his breadth of sponsors (Cargill, The Vikings, US Bank, Center for Diagnostic Imaging and Handy Paint Products to name a few). He then introduced the Steward to the stage.
Steward stepped onto the stage wearing a patterned teal jacket and a smile across her face. Her confidence glowed around her as she began to speak. Her ability to bring a large room to an intimate silence seemed effortless. Steward told the group that there is no clear path to success – people need to trust that the universe has a plan for everyone. Growing up, Steward had no plans for her future but knew travel needed to be a part of it. Her career had many twists and turns as she traveled around the Midwest doing everything from working in medical sales to broadcast journalism.
She became drawn to broadcast journalism as an opportunity to travel the world and share inspirational stories. She worked as an award-winning reporter for WCCO-TV CBS. As she paved her career as a journalist, she was yearning for inspirational stories, but on her own terms.
In the early 90s, Steward founded Tremendous! Entertainment. The beginning of her new business endeavour faced different hurdles as networks weren’t interested in the pitches and she was straying away from her original intention: to share inspirational stories and focus on character.
She slowly pivoted away from doing things that generated revenue, like selling DVDs or producing shows that drew ratings and sponsors because she felt disconnected to the work. Once she decided to return to the initial goal – to explore and share inspirational narratives – Tremendous! Entertainment found success.
Steward pioneered programs such as Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and the Emmy-winning series Rock the Park, to name a few. She’s currently in the works with Oprah Winfrey’s network (OWN) and always seeking true, inspirational stories.
Steward left the room in awe and inspired to follow wherever our passions lead us. We have to stay focused on the initial intention and then success will follow.